Fred Patacchia Jnr (HAW) posts a near perfect 9-point ride. © ASP/ Kirstin
Hawaiian Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), a former finalist at Teahupo'o, has set up a Round 3 clash with another former Teahupo'o finalist, Aussie Mick Fanning (AUS), after Patacchia today defeated Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.50 points to 9.67 points.
Freddy was looking solid, combining some nice tube rides with some searing rail carves, to completely dominate the heat over Durbidge, and along with rookie John John Florence (Haw), is flying the flag proudly for the Hawaiians.
Conditions may not be death-defying, but they are still spectacular for surfers competing in the 5th event of the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, The Billabong Pro, underway at Teahupo'o in Tahiti.
After a great start in two-metre waves yesterday, the remaining heats of Round 2 were completed today and it was a rookie, Brazilian Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, who top scored.
Twenty year-old Pupo netted an excellent 18.97 two-wave combined heat total out of a possible perfect 20 in the offshore waves to eliminate Australian Yadin Nicol (AUS), 26, and advance through to Round 3. It is the Brazilian’s first competitive showing at Teahupo’o and he exhibited superb tube-riding skills.
“The waves were really fun for our heat,” Pupo said. “The waves are stop and go out there. Some heats have waves and some do not. We were happy to have a lot of waves in our heat. This is my first time competing at Teahupo’o so I am just trying to get as many waves as I can and build my experience.”
Pupo will face a tough opponent in Round 3, drawing 2011 event finalist and former world number three, Owen Wright (AUS), 22, of Australia, who won his opening heat yesterday.
Jeremy Flores surfed superbly to advance to round three. ASP/Robertson
Jeremy Flores (FRA), 24, current No. 11 on the ASP WCT ratings, also posted a commanding win today over Hawaiian Dusty Payne (HAW), 23. The Frenchman surfed a perfect 20/20 heat last year in huge conditions, and his synergy at Teahupo'o continued today, with Flores threading his way through some excellent tube rides.
“I grew up in Reunion and now live in New Caledonia so I spend a lot of time surfing over reefs,” Flores said. “Unfortunately, we don’t have conditions like we did last year, but when the waves come, Teahupo’o is still a perfect barrel. Most places in the world would kill to have waves like we have today so it’s all good.”
Flores will next face Heitor Alves (BRA), 30, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Tahiti.
Aussie Kieren Perrow (AUS), 35, tour veteran and current ASP WCT No. 31, broke an early season form slump by progressing to Round 3 with a win over Portuguese surfer, Tiago Pires (PRT), 32. Perrow, the 2011 Billabong Pipe Masters champion, negotiated his way to an impressive 16.60 out of a possible 20 heat total and advanced directly to Round 3.
Perrow is one of seven Aussies who have advanced to Round 3, they include two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (Gold Coast, AUS), former world number two Joel Parkinson (Gold Coast, AUS), Julian Wilson (Sunshine Coast, AUS), Adrian Buchan (NSW, AUS), Taj Burrow (WA, AUS) and Kai Otton (NSW, AUS).
“It’s been a tough start to 2012 for me so it feels great to get a heat win again,” Perrow said. “I feel like I’m surfing well and I’m getting good boards so everything is there. It’s just about putting smart heats together. Today’s conditions are so much cleaner than yesterday’s so when the waves do come through they have great potential."
Kieren Perrow ASP/Robertson
Perrow will take on world rated number four, Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, in Round 3 when competition resumes.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7am start.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Tahiti are calling for a mixed bag of pulsey, shorter to medium period South and SSW swells in the 3-5’ range on the face (chest-head high) for tomorrow.
When competition resumes, up first will be two-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 1 Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, up against Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 30, in the opening heat of Round 3.
The Billabong Pro, Tahiti is made possible with the valued support of international partners Air Tahiti Nui, Sony, Xperia Sony Smartphone and Red Bull, along with our friends at Nixon, VonZipper, Mana and Hyundai.
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI REMAINING ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.50 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 6.93
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.50 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.73
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.33 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 3.40
Heat 6: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.00 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.97
Heat 7: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.60 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.00
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 18.97 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.97
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.60 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.34
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) 10.27 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 3.43
Heat 11: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.50 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.67
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.73 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 5.67
BILLABONG PRO TAHITI ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 5: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 11: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)